Being a mom is one of the most magical and rewarding things that you can do. However, just because you’re a parent, it doesn’t mean that it’s all you want to be. Being a mom can be all-consuming, especially in the beginning, but you also want to have a life outside of your role as a mom. You should be able to have friends and take part in activities that you enjoy. All of the things that make you who you are extend beyond being a parent. However, doing things outside of being a mom doesn’t always mean doing them without your kids. There are plenty of ways to have your own life while also maintaining your role as a loving and present mom.
Whether or not you choose to work when you have children is a personal choice between you and your partner. Many moms feel that working while their children require childcare isn’t worth it because their earnings get wiped out by the cost of care. However, even when going back to work could boost your income, you might prefer to stay home. If you do decide that you want to work, it can be a great way to maintain some independence and a life outside of the house. Whether you work part-time or full-time, it means you’re thinking about plenty of things other than kids. It can be hard to juggle being a parent and a mom but many feel that it’s worth it.
Support Each Other
If you have a partner who you can rely on, supporting each other in maintaining your own lives is important. You both have friends who you want to spend time with and things that you enjoy doing. As well as spending time together, encourage each other to have time to yourselves too. It’s very helpful to have a partner who wants you to be happy and will take their turn with parenting so that you can enjoy yourself. It doesn’t even have to be one of you staying home while the other goes out. It could simply be one of you on parenting duty while the other gets to sit in another room with a book and a glass of wine.
Join Groups and Social Activities
After having children, you can feel like you’ve disconnected from other people. Some moms benefit from their friends having children at the same time or enjoying mother and baby groups. But if you haven’t had the benefit of these things, you can find it difficult to start being social again. You can try looking or social groups and activities that you would like to try. It could be anything from sports to a choir, book club or craft circle. Whether you want to join a softball team or find people to knit with, it can help you to make new friends with the same interests as you.
Go Back to School
When your brain is filled with kids’ songs and other child-related things, the thought of going back to school can feel daunting. But it can also be exciting, giving you something to really stretch your brain. Going back to school can also help your career if you don’t yet want to return to work. Unfortunately, having a gap in your resume as a stay at home mom can still put employers off when you go back to work, but showing that you were studying could help. There are plenty of skills currently in demand if you want to study something that could boost your career or you want to do something different. A masters in electrical computer engineering could help you to develop a career in tech. Technical skills will only continue to be more in demand as the world becomes more and more high-tech.
Stay In Touch With Friends
Having children can sometimes mean that you drift away from your friends. Some parents do manage to keep up with their friends, but often your busy lives can make it difficult. If you’re both parents, that’s always a good reason to get together with a friend. You can have play dates, share parenting duties and go on outings together. But even if your friends don’t have children, or you want to spend time together without your kids, you can still make an effort to stay in touch. Of course, you both need to be willing to try and socialize with each other instead of neglecting your friendship.
Make the Most of Post-bedtime
Many moms recommend making the most of the time after your kids have gone to bed. This a great time not just to be with your partner or be on your own, but also to hang out with friends. Enjoying dinner together once the kids have gone to bed is a good way to spend time with other adults at the end of the day, once your parenting duties are (mostly) over. Be prepared for the pitter-patter of tiny feet when someone gets out of bed and wants to join in with the fun, though.
Find Childcare You Can Rely On
Entrusting your children to someone else isn’t always easy. Some people are lucky enough to have relatives who are happy to spend time with their grandchildren or nieces and nephews when you need them to. But not everyone can rely on help from family, which means having to make alternative arrangements. Some parents prefer a friend or neighbor to babysit, while others might be happy to use a babysitter, nanny or au pair who can prove their credentials and how they can be trusted. Finding someone who you can trust and rely on can be a real game changer if you want to spend time as a couple or have more time for yourself.
Make the Most of Any Alone Time (Even When Not Really Alone)
Getting alone time as a parent is tricky. When you do get the chance to be alone, do something to make the most of it. You might want to pamper yourself, read a book or do whatever it is you enjoy doing when alone. Even when you’re not exactly alone, perhaps commuting to work on a train or bus, you can still make the most of the time that you have without your kids. Plan what you’re going to do with your time so that it doesn’t go to waste.
Find Activities That You Can Do Separately Together
Another way you can get some time to yourself without really being alone is by finding activities that you can do with your children, but that allows you to still do your own thing. For example, if you like arts and crafts, you can do something crafty while your kids do their own art. If you want to get in a workout, you can do so while you encourage your children to exercise at the same time. Although you’re doing similar activities, it still gives you the chance to do what you want. It can also be a great way to have fun family time together.
Set Yourself Some Personal Goals
If you want something to push yourself to retain your identity outside of being a mom, you could consider setting yourself from personal goals. They could include many things, depending on what you’re passionate about and what you enjoy. Maybe you want to start a side business and start making a bit of money from it. Perhaps you could set a fitness goal and work toward running a marathon. Maybe you want to read a book a week for a year. You can do whatever you want to do if it makes you happy.
Show Your Children Who You Are
One of the most important things to do if you want to have an identity outside of being a mom is to show your children who you are. It can come as a bit of a shock to them that you’re more than just their mom! Try thinking of ways to engage your children with the things that you’re passionate about. Maybe they could come and watch you sing in your choir or perform with your amateur dramatics group. They could come and cheer you on while you run a 5k. Your kids will often enjoy being involved in the things you do and seeing you do something that you love.
Look After Yourself
There are many times in life when you will put your children’s needs before yours. But it’s always important to remember that you need to take care of yourself too. If you’re not healthy and happy, it makes it harder for you to be there for your children. You need to “put your mask on first” so that you can support your kids in the way that you want to. It’s not selfish to make sure you’re at your best so you can care for your children.
Being a mom doesn’t mean that’s all you are. Your children can be the center of your world and you can also keep your identity outside of being a mom.